Emmy and Tony Award Winning HADESTOWN Star André De Shields Performs “Old Dawg; New Tricks” in Lincoln Center’s AMERICAN SONGBOOK Series on the Appel Stage on January 29

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winning Hadestown star André De Shields will perform on the Appel Stage (10 Columbus Circle) in a new original show, Old Dawg; New Tricks on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 8:30 pm as part of Lincoln Center’s acclaimed American Songbook series, now in it’s 21st year. Click here for tickets.

The series celebrates the expansive scope and intricacy of the popular music canon from January 22 – February 29, 2020, and will include lauded singer-songwriters, groundbreaking composers, storytellers speaking truth to power, experimental vocalists, and multitalented performers whose artistic breadth reflects the far-reaching perspectives and experiences of the essential American Songbook.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

“The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing,” advised André De Shields upon accepting the 2019 Tony Award for his portrayal as Hermes in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown. And keep climbing he does. At the age of 73, De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season (also securing an Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award along with his Tony).

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He r received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

Tony Award Winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

With profound wit, elegance, and charm, this silky veteran of the stage proves why his star is still on the rise.

Click here for tickets and more information on the series.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Photos: THE LITTLE DANCER- A Holiday Family Musical at Theatre 71 through December 29

Evan Wormald and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

The Little Dancer… a holiday family musical is currently playing a limited run at Theatre 71 (152 W. 71st Street, 10023, right off Broadway) throughout the month of December. For tickets and more information, visit thelittledancermusical.com. Scroll down for production photos.

Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Steven Fisher, helmed by Richard Vida and choreographed by Lainie Sakakura, the one-hour show tells the heart-warming story of how 14-year-old Marie Van Goethem, Edgar Degas’ model for his one and only sculpture, became the most famous ballerina in the world.

The Full Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of The Little Dancer features New York actors Evan Wormald (Degas/Ed), Georgia Monroe (Marie), Heather Cadarette (Mama/Mistress de la Ballet), Beatrice Howell (Charlotte), Avelina Sanchez (Louise), Jordan Stanfield (Georges) and Liz Friedman (Swing/Dance Captain), as well as 29 young people who make up the show’s “Musical Theatre Geek Chorus” (MTGC) – Charley Bazzle, Audim Brokenbough, Cole Bryne, Maya Collins, Silas Costa, Lexi Eichel, Margalit Eisenstein, Logan Ford, Chelsea Gadsden, Tate Hamburg, Rose Jeffres, Jeremy Peyton Jones, Ella Keim, Channa Lewenson, Stephanie Moorhatch, Elizabeth Mun, Sade Mutua, Mekhi Patterson-White, Arabella Pirrone, Sophia Repkoe, Nicolena Rivera, Sophie Santago-Sterling, Emma Shay, Christopher Simcox, Cobrin Stanish, Giuliana Stout, Amalia Matetic Undurraga, Sarah Weil-Jones and Tabitha Wismer.

Associate Art Designer Chris Williams, Choreographer Lainie Sakakura, Costume Supervisor Rashidah Nelson, Writer Steven Fisher, Director Richard Vida, Lighting Designer Ridley Walker, Music Director Evan Alperone. Photo by Lia Chang

The production features Music Director Evan Alparone and Josh Suslak on Piano, Set Design and Costume Design by Jeremy Bailey-Smith, Costume Supervisor Rashidah Nelson, Lighting Design by Lighting Designer Ridley Walker, Associate Art Designer Chris Williams, Production Stage Manager Tama-Rose Bazzle and Assistant Stage Manager Moriah Tobin. Casting by Mungioli Theatricals, Inc.

Avelina Sanchez, Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell. Photo by Lia Chang

Fisher prides himself on writing elevated theatre for young people. “Children’s Theatre doesn’t have to be dumbed down for kids or boring for adults. Kids today are savvy, and their parents always appreciate not being put to sleep,” says Fisher. “This particular show has it all for young people, offering them the world of theatre, art, dance, and musical theatre all in one.”

Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

The kids who make up the MTGC are members of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), for which Fisher serves as Founder and Artistic Director. CY transforms the lives of over 800 young people through the power of making music together. Like last year, proceeds from the production will benefit Find Your Instrument!, CY’s award-winning outreach program, which offers hundreds of students in under-resourced schools the opportunity to experience the profound joy of singing with others.

Georgia Monroe and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

Recommended for children ages 6 to 106, The Little Dancer... a holiday family musical will run at Theatre 71 (152 W. 71st Street, 10023, right off Broadway) throughout the month of December. For more information, visit thelittledancermusical.com. For tickets, visit the Box Office.

Performance Schedule:
Saturday, December 7 at 11am and 1pm
Sunday, December 14 at 11am and 1pm
Saturday, December 21 at 11am and 1pm
Sunday, December 22 at 11am and 1pm
Thursday, December 23 at 11am
Thursday, December 26 at 11am
Friday, December 27 at 11am
Saturday, December 28 at 11am
Sunday, December 29 at 11am and 1pm

Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jordan Stanfield, Georgia Monroe and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell, Avelina Sanchez and Jordan Stanfield. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez and Beatrice Howell. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette, Avelina Sanchez, Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell and Jordan Stanfield. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Georgia Monroe, Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Georgia Monroe, Jordan Stanfield and Beatrice Howell. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Georgia Monroe, Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield, Evan Wormald and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Georgia Monroe, Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette and Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield, Avelina Sanchez, Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell, Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell, Jordan Stanfield and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell and Jordan Stanfield. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang
Evan Wormald, Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe, Jordan Stanfield, Beatrice Howell and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe, Jordan Stanfield, Beatrice Howell and Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

THE LITTLE DANCER- A Holiday Family Musical Opens at Theatre 71, Performances through December 29

The Little Dancer… a holiday family musical makes a triumphant return to New York City for its second production at Theatre 71 on the Upper West Side, right off Broadway on 71st Street.

The Full Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Steven Fisher, the one-hour show tells the heart-warming story of how 14-year-old Marie Van Goethem, Edgar Degas’ model for his one and only sculpture, became the most famous ballerina in the world.

Beatrice Howell, Lainie Sakakura, Avelina Sanchez and Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang

Last year’s premier received rave reviews. “Steven Fisher’s The Little Dancer is nothing less than extraordinary,” wrote Kristen Morale of BroadwayWorld. “This production captures the very essence of magic that exists in a child’s heart.” The show was also featured on Good Morning America.

Avelina Sanchez, Beatrice Howell and Georgia Monroe. Photo by Lia Chang

The Little Dancer will once again be directed by Richard Vida and choreographed by Lainie Sakakura.

Heather Cadarette, Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell Avelina Sanchez and Jordan Stanfield. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of The Little Dancer features New York actors Evan Wormald (Degas/Ed), Georgia Monroe (Marie), Heather Cadarette (Mama/Mistress de la Ballet), Beatrice Howell (Charlotte), Avelina Sanchez (Louise), Jordan Stanfield (Georges) and Liz Friedman (Swing/Dance Captain), as well as 29 young people who make up the show’s “Musical Theatre Geek Chorus” (MTGC) – Charley Bazzle, Audim Brokenbough, Cole Bryne, Maya Collins, Silas Costa, Lexi Eichel, Margalit Eisenstein, Logan Ford, Chelsea Gadsden, Tate Hamburg, Rose Jeffres, Jeremy Peyton Jones, Ella Keim, Channa Lewenson, Stephanie Moorhatch, Elizabeth Mun, Sade Mutua, Mekhi Patterson-White, Arabella Pirrone, Sophia Repkoe, Nicolena Rivera, Sophie Santago-Sterling, Emma Shay, Christopher Simcox, Cobrin Stanish, Giuliana Stout, Amalia Matetic Undurraga, Sarah Weil-Jones and Tabitha Wismer.

Associate Art Designer Chris Williams, Choreographer Lainie Sakakura, Costume Supervisor Rashidah Nelson, Writer Steven Fisher, Director Richard Vida, Lighting Designer Ridley Walker, Music Director Evan Alperone. Photo by Lia Chang

The production features Music Director Evan Alparone and Josh Suslak on Piano, Set Design and Costume Design by Jeremy Bailey-Smith, Costume Supervisor Rashidah Nelson, Lighting Design by Lighting Designer Ridley Walker, Associate Art Designer Chris Williams, Production Stage Manager Tama-Rose Bazzle and Assistant Stage Manager Moriah Tobin. Casting by Mungioli Theatricals, Inc.

Heather Cadarette, Avelina Sanchez, Georgia Monroe, Beatrice Howell and Evan Wormald. Photo by Lia Chang

Fisher prides himself on writing elevated theatre for young people. “Children’s Theatre doesn’t have to be dumbed down for kids or boring for adults. Kids today are savvy, and their parents always appreciate not being put to sleep,” says Fisher. “This particular show has it all for young people, offering them the world of theatre, art, dance, and musical theatre all in one.”

The kids who make up the MTGC are members of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), for which Fisher serves as Founder and Artistic Director. CY transforms the lives of over 800 young people through the power of making music together. Like last year, proceeds from the production will benefit Find Your Instrument!, CY’s award-winning outreach program, which offers hundreds of students in under-resourced schools the opportunity to experience the profound joy of singing with others.

Recommended for children ages 6 to 106, The Little Dancer... a holiday family musical will run at Theatre 71 (152 W. 71st Street, 10023, right off Broadway) throughout the month of December. For more information, visit thelittledancermusical.com. For tickets, visit the Box Office.

Evan Wormald – Ed/Degas
Evan Wormald – Ed/Degas

Evan is delighted to be making his New York City debut in The Little Dancer! A recent graduate of Point Park University’s BFA Acting program, Evan’s latest theatre credits include: Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble) with St. Vincent Summer Theatre, The History Boys (Irwin), Cabaret (Cliff Bradshaw), and You on the Moors Now (Mr. Rochester) with Point Park Conservatory Theatre Company, and the world premiere of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Brad Hays) with Prime Stage.

Georgia Monroe – Marie
Georgia Monroe – Marie

Georgia Monroe, a Senior at Pace University in New York City, is pursuing a BFA in Commercial Dance. She is so excited to be a part of The Little Dancer for her second year! Her credits include I’m a Brass Band (Charity, DancesPace) Rock of Ages (PCLO), Dance Dance Dance; Heartbeat (Hershey Park), Evita and Showboat (Interlakes Summer Theater). Much love and thanks to my supportive family, Croix, Steve, Richard and Lainie. Happy Holidays!

Heather Cadarette – Mama/Mistress de la Ballet
Heather Cadarette – Mama/Mistress de la Ballet

Heather Cadarette is thrilled to be reprising her role in this wonderful musical! She has worked as a preschool teacher while pursuing acting here in NYC, with select credits including Off-Broadway: Louise – Beauty and the Beast; NYC: Sister Antonia – If the Saints Arrive in Germany; Regional: Fairy Godmother – Shrek The Musical; Jane – God-Shaped Hole; Ms. Cratchit – Mrs. Scrooge the Musical; Margaret – Much Ado; Mary Jane – Big River; Gertrude McFuzz – Seussical The Musical. Proud graduate of UCSD. Much love to family, friends, fiancé, and this wonderful cast and crew!

Avelina Sanchez – Louise
Avelina Sanchez – Louise

Avelina Sanchez is thrilled to be a part of The Little Dancer. NYC Theater credits include: The Perfect Fit (Laura), Teatro Latea Theater, directed by GarthKravits; Two-29 HR AEA Readings of Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Keiko), Theatre 71 directed by Lainie Sakakura and Playroom Theater directed by Darren Lee. NYC Dance credits include: High Above with India Arie, City Center; Gloria, Jazz Lincoln Center; Dance Theatre of Harlem Vision Gala with Patti LaBelle, Cipriani 42; Journey of the Nightingale, Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Cabarets: 54 Below and The Greenroom 42. Thank you Richard Vida, Steven Fisher, Lainie Sakakura, Arnold Mungioli Theatricals, Melanie Lockyer, Lia Chang, and my family.

Beatrice Howell – Charlotte
Beatrice Howell – Charlotte

Beatrice Howell is thrilled to be making her New York City debut in this heartwarming holiday musical. She is originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently lives in New York City. She attends The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and is majoring in Dance Theatre. She is ecstatic to be working with such a phenomenal cast, crew, and production team. She wishes to thank her family and all her amazing teachers and mentors!

Liz Friedmann – Swing (Mama, Marie, Louise, Charlotte)
Liz Friedmann – Swing (Mama, Marie, Louise, Charlotte)

Liz Friedmann is so excited to share this fantastic show with audiences of all ages! A Saint Louis native, she grew up fostering her love of the arts performing at The Muny. Since then, she has performed regionally at theaters such as Asolo Repertory Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, and STAGES St. Louis. She was most recently seen in Man of La Mancha at STAGES St. Louis. She is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University! Liz sends thanks and love to the production team of The Little Dancer, her family and friends, and to her ultimate support system, Ryan.

Jordan Stanfield – Georges D’Herve

Jordan is very excited to be joining The Little Dancer. After high school he trained at the School of Ballet Arizona. While there, Jordan performed with company in many of their works. He would like to thank his Mom, Dad, Sister, and friends for being so supportive.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Tony Danza Spends Thanksgiving Day with Encore Seniors

Encore Community Services has been providing care and service to the elderly of the Clinton/Times Square/Midtown communities for 43 years. Encore was founded in 1977 by Father George Moore, the pastor of St. Malachy’s Church. He, along with Sisters Elizabeth Hasslet and Lillian McNamara, and members of the Broadway community (including The Shubert Organization, Sardi’s and the theatrical unions) turned the old Actor’s Chapel in the basement of St. Malachy’s into the Encore Senior Center, where it still thrives today.

Encore Senior Center at St. Malachy’s. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Senior Center at St. Malachy’s. Photo by Lia Chang

On Thanksgiving Day, the Encore Senior Center was transformed into a festive holiday dining hall with Sergio Reyes on Violin and Emilio Teubal on piano.

Sergio Reyes on Violin and Emilio Teubal on piano. Photo by Lia Chang

An army of Encore and City Meals volunteers were on hand to serve the Encore seniors turkey dinners with all the trimmings, generously donated by St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters and City Meals on Wheels.

Encore and City Meals volunteers. Photo by Lia Chang

Seniors were surprised by television and Broadway star Tony Danza, who spent the morning of the first seating serving string beans in the kitchen and then mingling with the seniors while they enjoyed their meals in the dining hall.

Tony Danza was one of the volunteers for Encore’s Thanksgiving day for seniors. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza was one of the volunteers for Encore’s Thanksgiving day for seniors at St. Malachy’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza was one of the volunteers for Encore’s Thanksgiving day for seniors. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Sano, Managing Director, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelter with Tony Danza. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza, Gigi Verkaik and Joseph Sano, Managing Director, St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelter. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza with Encore seniors. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza with Encore seniors. Photo by Lia Chang

With home delivered meals and over the course of two seatings, roughly 600 meals were served on Thanksgiving. 800 Thanksgiving meals were delivered on Wednesday to homebound seniors.

Thanksgiving Day at Encore Senior Center at St. Malachy’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Thanksgiving Day at Encore Senior Center at St. Malachy’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Thanksgiving Day at Encore Senior Center at St. Malachy’s in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Homebound seniors over the age of 60 living within the boundaries of 14th to 110th Street, from 5th Avenue to the Hudson River, are eligible for this program. The Center serves breakfast and lunch for 200 seniors each day and approximately 1600 hot meals are delivered for frail and homebound seniors who are unable to attend the Center,  as part of Encore’s Home Delivered Meals Program. Over the course of the year, over 400,000 or close to half a million meals are provided for Encore seniors.

Rev. John Frasier, Pastor of St. Malachy gives a Thanksgiving blessing. Photo by Lia Chang

Father Moore was a dynamic and charismatic leader, a tireless champion for the homeless and elderly, as well as an integral part of the Broadway community. He received an honorary Tony-Award posthumously (in 1991), for his visionary work, his dedication to the arts and his commitment to the people of the Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and Broadway communities.

Encore Community Center’s Gigi Verkaik, Judy Castillo, Hector Arias, Jose Lewis Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
The kitchen staff. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza with Encore seniors. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Robert Score serves up Thanksgiving meals. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza and the kitchen staff. Photo by Lia Chang
Tony Danza and the Encore and City Meals volunteers. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Bobby Score, Tony Danza and Joe Valentino, Trustee of Local 1. Photo by Lia Chang
Sister Peggy and an Encore senior. Photo by Lia Chang

The mission of Encore Community Services is to provide care and service to any elderly person who needs us; to assist those who are vulnerable and frail, poor and homeless, homebound and lonely, frequently-desperate, most-often ignored; to help them with their daily needs so that they might live as independently as possible, with dignity and decency, in a non-institutional manner, in a safe and caring environment. We believe we are all part of the human family and have an obligation to love one another. By nurturing, respecting and enabling, Encore hopes to improve the quality of an older person’s life, using an approach that emanates from the core of Encore’s commitment: We believe that what we do comes from the heart, and the heart is the center of all. www.encorenyc.org

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Multimedia: André De Shields, Philip Pearlstein and Sandra DiPasqua Receive Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards

Director Jack O’Brien and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Three-time Tony Award winning Director Jack O’Brien presented Actor André De Shields, who celebrated the 50th year of his acting career in 2019 by scoring his first Tony Award, for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Hermes in Hadestown, with the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award at Encore Ovation – A Celebration of Aging Through Art at Sardi’s on November 18. O’Brien directed De Shields in The Full Monty and Impression on Broadway.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater from The York Theatre and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, andThe Full Monty. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

This inaugural event’s honorary chairs included Philip J. Smith, Chairman, and Robert E. Wankel, President, of The Shubert Organization, who were presented with the 2019 Father George Moore Community Impact Award.

Robert J. Wankel, Bob Wankel, President of the Shubert Organization accepted the 2019 Father George Moore Community Impact Award. Photo by Lia Chang

The co-chairs of are producer and Encore Board Chair Lori Raimondo, artist Kendall Messick and playwright/producer Paul Lucas.

André De Shields is flanked by Encore Board member Kendall Messick and TRANS SCRIPTS Playwright and Producer Paul Lucas, co-chairs of Encore Ovation. Photo by Lia Chang

Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 emceed the evening’s festivities. The evening included cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres and featured artwork and entertainment by talented aging New Yorkers who are members of Encore’s community.

Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Encore honored several New Yorkers whose illustrious careers in the arts have already spanned decades even as they continue to reach new artistic heights, push boundaries and inspire others. The other recipients of the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award included Philip Pearlstein, an American painter widely regarded as one the greatest figurative artists of the last century. His work is displayed in over 70 museums around in the world and at age 95, he still paints in his studio regularly; and Creative Director Sandra DiPasqua, who has also been volunteering her time and talents to the Encore Senior Center for over 10 years, leading its successful and therapeutic Writer’s Group.

2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award recipients André De Shields, Sandra DiPasqua and Philip Pearlstein. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award recipients André De Shields, Sandra DiPasqua, Philip Pearlstein with Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan. Photo by Lia Chang

Marta Sanders and Leanne Borghesi opened the evening with “I’m Still Here”. Ms. Sanders received the 2018 Bistro Award for Consummate Cabaret Artistry the same year that Mr. De Shields received the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. Encore Senior Center Members Sandra Rodriguez, Nancy Simpson, Peter Gallinari were among the artists who also performed.

Marta Sanders and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Encore’s goal is to deepen and expand its arts programming to combat social isolation and other risks that cause serious health problems, which can land seniors in the hospital or in long-term care facilities, deterring them from aging successfully in place. Research shows that music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing and other participatory arts improve older adults’ quality of life and well-being.

André De Shields and his Sardi’s caricature. Photo by Lia Chang

Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards
Encore was founded in 1977 by Father George Moore, the pastor of St. Malachy’s Church. He, along with Sisters Elizabeth Hasslet and Lillian McNamara, and members of the Broadway community (including The Shubert Organization, Sardi’s and the theatrical unions) turned the old Actor’s Chapel in the basement of St. Malachy’s into the Encore Senior Center, where it still thrives today.

Father Moore was a dynamic and charismatic leader, a tireless champion for the homeless and elderly, as well as an integral part of the Broadway community. He received an honorary Tony-Award posthumously (in 1991), for his visionary work, his dedication to the arts and his commitment to the people of the Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and Broadway communities.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Local 798 Business Rep Daniel Dashman and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Natasha and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Kendall Messick, co-chair of Encore Ovation and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Lazarto, Chairman of the board of trustees for Local 1, Robert Score, Recording Correspondent secretary for Local 1 and Encore Board member, André De Shields and Michael Caffrey, Administrative Secretary of Local 1. Photo by Lia Chang
Antonio Roberto, LGBT Center and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Julius Lang and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services’ Gigi Verkaik and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Bradley King and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Senior member Sandra Rodriguez performed Ain’t Misbehavin’. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Jack O’Brien. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields receives the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award from his THE FULL MONTY AND IMPRESSIONISM director Jack O’Brien. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Encore Community Services
Since 1977, Encore has provided seniors in the midtown Times Square/Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen communities of New York City with a range of caring and quality services to help them live independent and dignified lives. For this reason, Encore has earned the reputation as “Broadway’s Longest Running Act of Loving Care.”

The mission of Encore Community Services is to provide care and service to any elderly person who needs us; to assist those who are vulnerable and frail, poor and homeless, homebound and lonely, frequently-desperate, most-often ignored; to help them with their daily needs so that they might live as independently as possible, with dignity and decency, in a non-institutional manner, in a safe and caring environment. We believe we are all part of the human family and have an obligation to love one another. By nurturing, respecting and enabling, Encore hopes to improve the quality of an older person’s life, using an approach that emanates from the core of Encore’s commitment: We believe that what we do comes from the heart, and the heart is the center of all. www.encorenyc.org

Lia Chang and André De Shields

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

SOFT POWER:  A Panel Discussion with David Henry Hwang, Jean Howard, Denise Cruz, and Ana Paulina Lee at Columbia University on December 3

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, Columbia University School of the Arts, Columbia Department Latin American and Iberian Cultures, and Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures are co-sponsoring a celebration of the importance of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER as a cultural and theatrical event.

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Scholars of theater history, gender and sexuality studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, and race and performance studies will offer commentary on the play, followed by comments from David Henry Hwang and audience Q&A. The panel discussion with David Henry Hwang, Jean Howard, Denise Cruz, and Ana Paulina Lee will take place at Columbia University, 403 Kent Hall at 4:00 pm.

David Henry Hwang is a Tony Award winning playwright, and Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. David Henry Hwang’s  stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also America’s most-produced living American opera librettist (two Grammy Awards), and co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince. Since 2015, he has been a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair”. Hwang serves as Chair of the American Theatre Wing. His newest work, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori, received its New York premiere this fall at the Public Theater.

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Will Release a Cast Recording in Spring 2020 

Jean Howard is the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Denise Cruz is an Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and a scholar of gender and sexuality in national and transnational cultures.

Ana Paulina Lee is an Assistant Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, and a scholar of race and performance in the hemispheric Americas.

Evan Wormald, Georgia Monroe, Heather Caderette, Beatrice Howell, Avelina Sanchez, Jordan Stanfield and Liz Friedman Set for Limited Run of THE LITTLE DANCER at Theatre 71, December 1 -29

On Sunday, December 1, 2019, The Little Dancer… a holiday family musical will make a triumphant return to New York City for its second production at Theatre 71 on the Upper West Side, right off Broadway on 71st Street.

Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Steven Fisher, the one-hour show tells the heart-warming story of how 14-year-old Marie Van Goethem, Edgar Degas’ model for his one and only sculpture, became the most famous ballerina in the world.

Last year’s premier received rave reviews. “Steven Fisher’s The Little Dancer is nothing less than extraordinary,” wrote Kristen Morale of BroadwayWorld. “This production captures the very essence of magic that exists in a child’s heart.” The show was also featured on Good Morning America.

THE LITTLE DANCER on Good Morning America.

The Little Dancer will once again be directed by Richard Vida and choreographed by Lainie Sakakura.

The cast of The Little Dancer features New York actors Evan Wormald (Degas/Ed), Georgia Monroe (Marie), Heather Cadarette (Mama/Mistress de la Ballet), Beatrice Howell (Charlotte), Avelina Sanchez (Louise), Jordan Stanfield (Georges) and Liz Friedman (Swing/Dance Captain), as well as 29 young people who make up the show’s “Musical Theatre Geek Chorus” (MTGC) – Charley Bazzle, Audim Brokenbough, Cole Bryne, Maya Collins, Silas Costa, Lexi Eichel, Margalit Eisenstein, Logan Ford, Chelsea Gadsden, Tate Hamburg, Rose Jeffres, Jeremy Peyton Jones, Ella Keim, Channa Lewenson, Stephanie Moorhatch, Elizabeth Mun, Sade Mutua, Mekhi Patterson-White, Arabella Pirrone, Sophia Repkoe, Nicolena Rivera, Sophie Santago-Sterling, Emma Shay, Christopher Simcox, Cobrin Stanish, Giuliana Stout, Amalia Matetic Undurraga, Sarah Weil-Jones and Tabitha Wismer.

The production will feature Music Director Evan Alparone and Josh Suslak on Piano, Set Design and Costume Design by Jeremy Bailey-Smith, Costume Supervisor Rashidah Nelson, Associate Art Designer Chris Williams, Production Stage Manager Tama-Rose Bazzle and Assistant Stage Manager Moriah Tobin. Casting by Mungioli Theatricals, Inc.

Fisher prides himself on writing elevated theatre for young people. “Children’s Theatre doesn’t have to be dumbed down for kids or boring for adults. Kids today are savvy, and their parents always appreciate not being put to sleep,” says Fisher. “This particular show has it all for young people, offering them the world of theatre, art, dance, and musical theatre all in one.”

The kids who make up the MTGC are members of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), for which Fisher serves as Founder and Artistic Director. CY transforms the lives of over 800 young people through the power of making music together. Like last year, proceeds from the production will benefit Find Your Instrument!, CY’s award-winning outreach program, which offers hundreds of students in under-resourced schools the opportunity to experience the profound joy of singing with others.

Recommended for children ages 6 to 106, The Little Dancer... a holiday family musical will run at Theatre 71 (152 W. 71st Street, 10023, right off Broadway) throughout the month of December. For more information, visit thelittledancermusical.com. For tickets, visit the Box Office.

Evan Wormald – Ed/Degas
Evan Wormald – Ed/Degas

Evan is delighted to be making his New York City debut in The Little Dancer! A recent graduate of Point Park University’s BFA Acting program, Evan’s latest theatre credits include: Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble) with St. Vincent Summer Theatre, The History Boys (Irwin), Cabaret (Cliff Bradshaw), and You on the Moors Now (Mr. Rochester) with Point Park Conservatory Theatre Company, and the world premiere of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Brad Hays) with Prime Stage.

Georgia Monroe – Marie
Georgia Monroe – Marie

Georgia Monroe, a Senior at Pace University in New York City, is pursuing a BFA in Commercial Dance. She is so excited to be a part of The Little Dancer for her second year! Her credits include I’m a Brass Band (Charity, DancesPace) Rock of Ages (PCLO), Dance Dance Dance; Heartbeat (Hershey Park), Evita and Showboat (Interlakes Summer Theater). Much love and thanks to my supportive family, Croix, Steve, Richard and Lainie. Happy Holidays!

Heather Cadarette – Mama/Mistress de la Ballet
Heather Cadarette – Mama/Mistress de la Ballet

Heather Cadarette is thrilled to be reprising her role in this wonderful musical! She has worked as a preschool teacher while pursuing acting here in NYC, with select credits including Off-Broadway: Louise – Beauty and the Beast; NYC: Sister Antonia – If the Saints Arrive in Germany; Regional: Fairy Godmother – Shrek The Musical; Jane – God-Shaped Hole; Ms. Cratchit – Mrs. Scrooge the Musical; Margaret – Much Ado; Mary Jane – Big River; Gertrude McFuzz – Seussical The Musical. Proud graduate of UCSD. Much love to family, friends, fiancé, and this wonderful cast and crew!

Avelina Sanchez – Louise
Avelina Sanchez – Louise

Avelina Sanchez is thrilled to be a part of The Little Dancer. NYC Theater credits include: The Perfect Fit (Laura), Teatro Latea Theater, directed by GarthKravits; Two-29 HR AEA Readings of Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Keiko), Theatre 71 directed by Lainie Sakakura and Playroom Theater directed by Darren Lee. NYC Dance credits include: High Above with India Arie, City Center; Gloria, Jazz Lincoln Center; Dance Theatre of Harlem Vision Gala with Patti LaBelle, Cipriani 42; Journey of the Nightingale, Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Cabarets: 54 Below and The Greenroom 42. Thank you Richard Vida, Steven Fisher, Lainie Sakakura, Arnold Mungioli Theatricals, Melanie Lockyer, Lia Chang, and my family.

Beatrice Howell – Charlotte
Beatrice Howell – Charlotte

Beatrice Howell is thrilled to be making her New York City debut in this heartwarming holiday musical. She is originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently lives in New York City. She attends The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and is majoring in Dance Theatre. She is ecstatic to be working with such a phenomenal cast, crew, and production team. She wishes to thank her family and all her amazing teachers and mentors!

Liz Friedmann – Swing (Mama, Marie, Louise, Charlotte)
Liz Friedmann – Swing (Mama, Marie, Louise, Charlotte)

Liz Friedmann is so excited to share this fantastic show with audiences of all ages! A Saint Louis native, she grew up fostering her love of the arts performing at The Muny. Since then, she has performed regionally at theaters such as Asolo Repertory Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, and STAGES St. Louis. She was most recently seen in Man of La Mancha at STAGES St. Louis. She is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University! Liz sends thanks and love to the production team of The Little Dancer, her family and friends, and to her ultimate support system, Ryan.

Jordan Stanfield – Georges D’Herve

Jordan is very excited to be joining The Little Dancer. After high school he trained at the School of Ballet Arizona. While there, Jordan performed with company in many of their works. He would like to thank his Mom, Dad, Sister, and friends for being so supportive.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Michael McElroy and Broadway Inspirational Voices Set For 2019 Holiday Concert, SEASONS OF INSPIRATION at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on December 16

2019 Tony Award Honoree Michael McElroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices will present their 2019 holiday concert, Seasons of Inspiration on December 16th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway in New York. Doors open at 6:30, showtime is 7:30 pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields and Tony Honor Recipient Michael McElroy, founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices, at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York on June 3, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Rooted in Gospel music, BIV’s holiday concert offers favorites from their Grammy-nominated album, Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas, and their most recent release, Great Joy 2: Around the World. This concert of hope, joy, celebration, and inspiration is the perfect springboard to get you into the holiday mood this year. Honoring 25 years of BIV’s service to the Broadway community and beyond, this magical evening is not to be missed.

Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV), the 2019 Tony Award Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, was formed in 1994 by Tony-nominated Broadway performer Michael McElroy. His vision was to bring inspiration to the Broadway community during a time when the AIDS epidemic had ravaged an entire generation of artists.

Over the past twenty-five years, BIV has served the Broadway community whenever needed. During the choir’s first six years they annually held concerts to contribute to and support the work of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since then they have taken part in benefits for the Actor’s Fund, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, BC/EFA, and numerous other fundraisers held on Broadway stages.

In 2007 BIV became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to make it easier to give back to the greater community in service to its mission. Outreach programs are created for children in underserved populations, focusing on BIV’s mission to provide HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts. Currently, BIV has annual programs with The Ronald McDonald House New York, Mosaic Preparatory School in Harlem, and the Covenant House in the heart of NYC’s theater district.

In performance, BIV has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Constitution Hall in DC, and the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California. In 2004, BIV was nominated for a Grammy Award for their first holiday CD: Great Joy! A Gospel Christmas.

BIV has performed live with Elton John, Jennifer Nettles, Mariah Carey, Jason Mraz, Sting, Gloria Estefan, Harry Connick Jr, Patti LuPone, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vanessa Williams, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Heather Headley. BIV has been featured on “The Today Show”, “This Week” with John Oliver, The Miss America Pageant, multiple Tony Awards Telecasts, “America’s Got Talent”, and “Late Night” with David Letterman, among others. Their web series, “Broadway Our Way”, is in its third season on YouTube. Over eighty members strong, BIV’s diverse membership has represented over 140 Broadway shows since its inception.

For more information – and for ways to DONATE to support its ongoing outreach initiatives – go to www.BIVoices.org.

Lucas Steele, George Abud, Laura Schein, Ann Harada, Felicia Boswell, Natalie Weiss, Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, Max Crumm, Jacob Dickey and More Set for EMOJILAND, January 9 – March 8

Ann Harada. Photo by Lia Chang

Arborhouse Productions & Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin and Tim Sulka) are presenting the Off-Broadway run of Emojiland from Thursday, January 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). The production garnered 12 nominations and 5 wins at the 2018 NYMF Awards and was a 2018 Richard Rodgers Award Finalist.

Lucas Steele

The cast includes Lucas Steele (The Great Comet) as Skull, George Abud (The Band’s Visit) as Nerd Face, Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein as Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes (aka “Smize”), Emmy Winner & Grammy Nominee Felicia Boswell (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE, Shuffle Along, Motown) as Police Officer, Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, YouTube’s “Breaking Down the Riffs”) as Construction Worker, Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Pile of Poo, Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess and Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster) will take on the role of the Man In Business Suit Levitating emoji, along with Jacob Dickey (Aladdin Broadway as Aladdin) as Smiling Face with Sunglasses, (aka “Sunny”), Dwelvan David (Finding Neverland & The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Tours) as Guardsman, Heather Makalani (Aladdin) as Kissy Face, Tanisha Moore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tour) as Woman Dancing and Jordan Fife Hunt (A Chorus Line First Revival Tour) as Man Dancing.

Kenny Ingram
Kenny Ingram

Emojiland‘s book, music and lyrics are written by Keith Harrison & Laura Schein. The musical will be directed by Thomas Caruso (Southern Comfort, Matilda, Groundhog Day), with choreography by Kenny Ingram (The Lion King) and musical direction by Lena Gabrielle (Endangered!). Scenic design is by David Goldstein, costume & make-up design is by Vanessa Leuck, lighting design is by Jamie Roderick, sound design is by Ken Goodwin, and projection design is by Lisa Renkel & Possible Productions. The production is cast by Binder Casting (Chad Murnane, CSA), is Executive Produced & General Managed by Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin / Tim Sulka), and is Production Managed by Tinc Productions. Social Media & Influencer Marketing is by YesBroadway (Sam Maher). Bell Arts Entertainment (Jacquelyn Bell) associate produces.

Originally presented by the New York Musical Festival, Dan Markley, Executive Director & Producer, Emojiland was a Grand Jury Selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival.

Not to be confused with, and very much unlike The Emoji Movie, Emojiland is an electric ensemble piece about a diverse community of archetypes who take one another at face value: a smiling face dealing with depression; a princess who doesn’t want a prince; a skull dying for deletion; a nerd face too smart for his own good; a face with sunglasses who can’t see past his own reflection; and a police officer and construction worker who just want to work together. When a software update threatens to destroy life as they know it, Emojiland faces the most fundamental questions a society – and a heart – can face: Who are we? And who matters?

MEET THE COMPLETE CAST
Max Crumm’s Broadway credits include: DISASTER! (The Nederlander), Grease (Brooks Atkinson). Off-Broadway: The Evolution Of Mann, Hot Mess, The Fantasticks, Disaster!, Brooklyn Crush {formerly: F#%KING UP EVERYTHING}. Festival/Regional: Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey Vs. The Devil (NYMF 2017), The Situation, Jersey Shoresical (NY Fringe Festival). Walter Paisley, Beatsville (Asolo Rep.), Andy, Legendale (Human Race Theatre). Film/TV: Emergence, Ray Donovan, Easy A, Killing Diaz & Echoboom.

Heather Makalani is making her Off-Broadway debut in Emojiland! She made her Broadway debut in Aladdin the Musical understudying Princess Jasmine. She also appeared at the Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival this summer as Sandy Dumbrowski at the Merry Go Round Playhouse’s production of Grease where she was nominated for best leading actress in a musical by the SALT Awards (Syracuse Area Live Theatre). Australian credits include Aladdin the Musical (original Australian cast), Heathers the Musical, and RENT.

Jordan Fife Hunt (Man Dancing, Ensemble) tour: A Chorus Line (1st national revival). City Center Encores!: Fiorello!, Where’s Charley? International: Sousatzka (Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, world premiere). Regional: Claude in Hair(Waterfront Playhouse), Loch Ness (The Rev), The Wiz (Broadway Sacramento), West Side Story (Guthrie Theater), Evita (ACT), Prime Time (The Studios of Key West), Paul in A Chorus Line (Theatre Under The Stars, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Riverside Theatre), Disney’s Aladdin (The Muny). TV: “The Wendy Williams Show,” “New Year’s Eve: From Lincoln Center” on PBS, “The A-List” on LOGO, “Todrick” on MTV. Dance: Dance Key West, Veracity Dance Theatre, Gig- The Show, MET Dance, Benjamin Briones Ballet. Training: BFA in Musical Theatre (The Boston Conservatory).

Tanisha Moore is making her Off-Broadway debut with Emojiland! She has toured the country with Flashdance the Musical and Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Regional credits include; the role of June in Gypsy, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Wiz, and the world premiere of Disney’s Freaky Friday.

Jacob Dickey is making his Off-Broadway debut. Other credits include Aladdin (Broadway and Nat’l Tour as Aladdin), Stephen Schwartz’ Prince of Egypt (as Moses), and Next to Normal (as Gabe).

Dwelvan David’s theatrical credits include the first national tour of Finding Neverland; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. NYC: Standby (NYMF 2013) Regional: Sweeney Todd (Denver Center); Sister Act (Tuacahn); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (STAGES/Riverside); Show Boat (Lyric Opera Chicago); The Wiz (TATC); Caroline, or Change (Human Race); Ragtime (Drury Lane); TV: “Bull,” “Gotham,” “Law&Order SVU,””Happy!” BFA Millikin University. AEA

Ann Harada (Pile of Poo) played Christmas Eve in the Broadway and West End productions of Avenue Q and stepsister Charlotte in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Other Bway credits include Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables (revival), 9 To 5, Seussical, and M. Butterfly. Recent Off Bway: Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson. Film: SISTERS, TROUBLE, YOUTH IN OREGON, ADMISSION, HOPE SPRINGS, FEEL, HAPPINESS. TV includes: SMASH (as Linda, the Stage Manager), THE GOOD WIFE, HOUSE OF CARDS, MASTER OF NONE, THE Jim Gaffigan SHOW, SEARCH PARTY, YOUNGER, GOTHAM, NEW AMSTERDAM.

Felicia Boswell (Police Officer): EMMY Winner & GRAMMY Nominee (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE), 2x Helen Hayes AWARD Winner (Outstanding Lead Actress), Broadway World Winner (Best Lead Actress), Jeff Award (Best Supporting Actress nom). Broadway: Shuffle Along (Josephine Baker); Motown (Diana Ross); Memphis (Felicia Farrell). Nat’l Tour: Memphis (Felicia Farrell); Dreamgirls (Deena, Lorell). Highlights: The Color Purple (Celie) Portland Center Stage; Jelly’s Last Jam (Anita) Signature Theatre; MEDEA (Medea) Bay Street; Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Evelyn) GSPlayhouse; Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene) Paramount; AIDA (Aida); Man of LaMancha (Aldonza) Barrington Stage; RENT (Mimi); Caroline or Change, Guthrie Theatre; SOUL: Stax Musical (Carla Thomas); Little Rock (Minniejean Brown); MANDELA (Zindzi) ASCAP; Midwives (Charlotte); Quiet World (Marianne) Lincoln Center. TV: “POWER” (Melissa) STARZ; “The Good Fight” (Lace) CBS; NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, Macy’s Day Parade (Diana Ross) Motown, “Last Week w/John Oliver.” “Mama Knows Best” single available, all music platforms.

George Abud (Nerd Face) is an Arab-American actor. Broadway: The Band’s Visit starring Katrina Lenk & Tony Shalhoub (Daytime Emmy Award, OBC Recording); The Visit starring Chita Rivera & Roger Rees (OBC Recording). Off-Broadway: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui opposite Raúl Esparza, Nathan The Wise opposite F. Murray Abraham, Peer Gynt opposite Gabriel Ebert, and Allegro directed by John Doyle (Classic Stage Company); The Band’s Visit directed by David Cromer (Atlantic Theater Company); Lolita, My Love opposite Robert Sella (York Theatre Company). Regional: August Rush (Lewis Chapman, Paramount Theatre); Annie Get Your Gun directed by Sarna Lapine (Charlie Davenport, Bay Street Theater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck, Geva Theatre Center); 1776 (The Muny); Fiddler on the Roof (Human Race Theatre); Man of La Mancha, Oliver Twist (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). International: The New Prince with Barbara Walsh, Marc Kudisch, and Paulo Szot at the Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam.

Natalie Weiss (Construction Worker) has gained an international following from her performance & coaching videos and popular YouTube web series, “Breaking Down The Riffs”. She made her Broadway debut in 2010 understudying the Menonettes in Everyday Rapture, starring Sherie Rene Scott, was a swing in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, and performed in the ensemble / understudied Elphaba in the 2nd National Tour of Wicked. Other regional credits include Molly in Ghost, Florence in Chess, and Candy in Saturday Night Fever. Natalie’s voice can be heard on the acclaimed soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman”, on the Original Broadway Cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen as one of the Virtual Community Voices, and on the jingles for The Incredibles 2. She was also an American Idol season 4 semi-finalist. Natalie received her BFA in musical theatre from Penn State University.

Laura Schein (Co-Writer / Smize) has been in the biz of show since age 10. 1st Nat’l Tour: Ragtime. Regional: Holiday Inn (Goodspeed), Mary Zimmerman’s Pericles (Goodman), Carousel (Long Wharf), 2019 LA Writers Workshop (CTG), Coney Island Christmas (Geffen), Oblivion (CTG), NOFX’s Home Street Home (Davenport Theatricals). TV/Film: “Kidding”, “Masters of Sex,” “Weeds” (Showtime), Sing It! (YouTube Originals), Crystal’s Balls (Funny or Die), and the animated feature UglyDolls (STX), for which she co-wrote the Kelly Clarkson-Janelle Monae duet “Unbreakable.” Currently writing on an upcoming musical series starring Zosia Mamet.

Lesli Margherita (Princess) won the Olivier Award for her West End debut as Inez in Zorro The Musical. Broadway: Matilda the Musical;Dames at Sea. Off-Broadway: Who’s Holiday (Drama Desk, Lortel, & Off-Broadway Alliance noms. – Best Solo Performance); A Scythe of Time (NYMF; Outstanding Performance Award). Television (recurring) “Transparent,” “Most Likely to” (ABC pilot), “Homeland,” “Instinct,” “Elementary,” “Seven Seconds.” Film: The Many Saints of Newark (upcoming), Opening Night (opp. Taye Diggs & Topher Grace). Regional (select credits): Guys & Dolls (Bucks County), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sacramento Music Circus), Kiss Me Kate (Reprise; Ovation Award – Best Actress), The Gronholm Method (The Falcon; Ovation nom. – Best Ensemble), Man of La Mancha (MTW; Ovation nom. & LADCC nom – Best Actress), Showboat (Goodspeed), Little Shop Of Horrors (La Mirada); Spamalot (Sacramento Music Circus). Lesli’s debut album Rule Your Kingdom now available in stores/online.

Josh Lamon (Prince) TV/FILM: Here Today (Dir. Billy Crystal), “Katy Keene,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Fight,” “30 Rock,” “Deadbeat,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Steve Phoenix: The Untold Story.” Broadway: The Prom, Groundhog Day, Finding Neverland, Elf and Hair. Off-Broadway: A New Brain (Encores!), Into The Woods (Shakespeare in the Park), Little Miss Sunshine (2nd Stage), Little Me (Encores!) and February House (The Public). You can hear his podcast ‘Josh Swallows Broadway’ on the Broadway Podcast Network. Composition: co-book writer, conceiver and additional musical and lyrics for the musical Bloody Bloody Jessica Fletcher.

Keith Harrison (Co-Writer) is a musical wizard whose credits include work on The Prom (Netflix, upcoming), Cinderella (Sony, upcoming), The Politician (Netflix), “American Idol” (FOX, ABC), “American Horror Story” (FX), “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix), “Westside” (Netflix), Kidding (Showtime), “The Daytime Emmy Awards” (POPTV), “Claws” (TNT), “Ugly Dolls” (STX), 911 (FOX), and the original Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet. Notable collaborators have included: Ariana Grande, Meryl Streep, Ben Vereen, Ana Gasteyer, Shoshana Bean, Andrew Lippa, Larry O’Keefe, Babyface, Emmylou Harris, Jason Alexander and many more.

Thomas Caruso (Director) Southern Comfort (The Public Theatre; NY Times Critics Pick, Lucille Lortel Award & Outer Critics Circle Award nominations: Best New Musical), Dynamo: Seeing Is Believing (West End, U.K. & Australian Tours). B’way National Tours: Matilda, Ghost, Master Class. Broadway Associate Director credits include: A Christmas Carol, Groundhog Day, Matilda, Ghost, Mamma Mia!, Bombay Dreams, Follies, Master Class. Other directing credits include: David Blaine: Real or Magic (Asia tour); Earth To Bucky (Bay Street Theatre), the premiere of Terrence McNally and Israel Horovitz’s Off Season (Gloucester Stage).

Performances of Emojiland will be Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm, and Sundays at 7pm.

Tickets for Emojiland are available for purchase online at Dukeon42.org; by phone at 646-223-3010; or in person at The Duke on 42nd Street at 229 West 42nd Street (Tuesdays-Fridays 4-7 and Saturdays 12-6).

The running time is approximately 2 hours, including intermission.

Visit Emojiland.com for more info and updates.

SPARKLE: AN ALL-STAR HOLIDAY CONCERT at The Green Room 42 on December 1 to Benefit Actors Fund; André De Shields, Nathan Lee Graham, Natalie Douglas, Erin Quill and More to Appear

The annual holiday extravaganza SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert returns to New York City on Sunday, December 1 for its 8th consecutive year, once again benefiting the programs and services of The Actors Fund (www.actorsfund.org).

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Hosted and produced by TV personality Scott Nevins (Bravo’s “The People’s Couch”), SPARKLE will take place at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue, NY, NY), featuring 2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’) reading Twas the Night Before Christmas, Grammy Award Winner Nathan Lee Graham, Chris Weaver (“The Voice”), Singer/Songwriter Randi Driscoll, Multi-MAC Award Winner Natalie Douglas, Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu), Lexi Lawson (Hamilton), Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), Jesse JP Johnson (SpongeBob, Wicked), Havilland Stillwell (Les Miserables, Fiddler), Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots), Erin Quill (Avenue Q original Broadway company) and Julie Garniyé (Come From Away). Brian Nash will once again serve as Music Director and Arranger. *Cast is subject to change without notice.

General Admission Tickets for the show are $65; Premium Tickets (includes name recognition in the program) are $90; VIP Ringside Seating (includes a pre-show meet & greet, name recognition from the stage as well as in the program, and the best seats in the house): $125 each. Seating is very limited for this exclusive event and tickets will sell out quickly. Click here for tickets.

SPARKLE: AN ALL-STAR HOLIDAY CONCERT began when TV personality and host Scott Nevins had the desire to present a “small holiday concert” in Palm Springs, CA to help raise funds for a worthy organization. The event was an instant hit, quickly moving to a much larger venue, and earning 4 consecutive sold-out years as the holiday musical event of the season in the desert. Nevins then expanded on the idea by producing very successful all-star versions of the show in New York City and Los Angeles, both benefiting the programs and services of The Actors Fund. Sparkle has featured a remarkable cast of the industry’s most legendary and iconic performers like Carol Channing, Harvey Fierstein, Mitzi Gaynor, Florence Henderson, Richard Kind, Lorna Luft, Loni Anderson, Richard Simmons (in his last public appearance), and Jo Ann Worley, along with some of today’s biggest and brightest from TV, Theatre and Film such as Tony Award winners Billy Porter, Melba Moore and Lillias White, Emmy Award nominee Tituss Burgess, Tony Award nominees Daisy Eagan, Andrew Rannells, Stephanie J. Block, Robin De Jesus, Norm Lewis, Max von Essen, Constantine Maroulis and Bobby Steggert, Emmy Award winner & recording artist Liz Callaway plus Bobbie Eakes, Lea Thompson, Nick Adams, Erich Bergen, Christina Bianco, Emerson Collins, Wilson Cruz, Matt Doyle, Ilene Graff, Blake McIver, Sharon McNight, Anthony Rapp, Jai Rodriguez, The Skivvies, Shayna Steele, Marty Thomas, columnist & TV personality Perez Hilton, and many more!

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services. Visit actorsfund.org.